Shinyoung Kwon, Promoting Mass Movements: A New Perspective on Japanese Wartime Imperialism in Korea

Shinyoung Kwon, ‘Promoting Mass Movements: A New Perspective on Japanese Wartime Imperialism in Korea,’ Papers of the British Association for Korean Studies, Vol. 16 (2015): 1–22. 

Full text available here: Kwon, BAKS Papers 16.

Abstract: This article aims to explore the Japanese colonial government’s efforts to promote mass movements in Korea throughout the 1930s. It focuses on two Governor-Generals and the directors of the Education Bureau who created the Social Indoctrination movements under Governor-General Ugaki Kazushige (宇垣 一成) in the early 1930s and the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement of Governor-General Minami Jirō (南 次郎) in the late 1930s. The analysis covers their respective political motivations, ideological orientation, and organizational structures. It demonstrates that Ugaki, under the drive to integrate Korea with an economic bloc centered on Japan, adapted the traditional local practices of the colonized based on the claim of “Particularities of Korea,” whereas the second Sino-Japanese War led Minami to emphasize assimilation, utilizing the ideology of the extended-family to give colonial power more direct access to individuals as well as to obscure the unequal nature of the colonial relationship. It argues that the colonial government-led campaigns constituted a core ruling mechanism of Japanese imperialism in the 1930s.